3 Mar 2023 14:58

Israel to open permanent embassy in Turkmenistan, near Iranian border - media

ASHGABAT. March 3 (Interfax) - Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen will visit Ashgabat shortly to open a permanent embassy to Turkmenistan, the Israel Hayom newspaper said on Friday.

According to the newspaper, the Israeli embassy will open 20 kilometers away from the Turkmen-Iranian border.

The embassy in Ashgabat will be the closest Israeli embassy to the Iranian border, the newspaper said. This sends a message to Tehran that Israel has growing influence in the region, it said.

"Israel and Turkmenistan have an important, strategic relationship, which is part of the effort towards strengthening ties with the entire region," Cohen told the newspaper. "We will continue to promote economic cooperation between countries, including in the fields of healthcare and cybersecurity."

The embassy is yet another sign of strengthening relations between Israel and Turkmenistan, Cohen said, adding that it marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations.

Israel and Turkmenistan, predominantly populated by Muslims, established diplomatic relations in 1992, after the former Soviet republic proclaimed independence. A temporary Israeli embassy opened in Ashgabat ten years ago. The new embassy will be working on a permanent basis.

Turkmen Deputy Foreign Minister Berdiniyaz Myatiyev met with Director of the Israeli Foreign Ministry's Department of Eurasia and the Western Balkans Yuval Fuchsah, who paid a working visit to Turkmenistan, on February 28, 2023, to discuss the strengthening of bilateral relations.

The talks addressed the expansion of bilateral cooperation in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic and humanitarian areas.

The diplomats reaffirmed the mutual commitment to further expansion and strengthening of the Turkmen-Israeli relations, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said.